Life in progress


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250. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Tuesday, May 8th, 6:00pm
Red (and Phil)

 

Red sits at the window. Phil takes the seat beside her: he is out of breath.

Red: Are you okay?

Phil: Yeah. I almost missed the damned bus. (does a double take) … I mean, the darned bus.

Red: I wish I had. I’m really starting to hate taking the bus. I used to have a car to go to my grandma’s house. But since it broke down, I’m having to deliver the goodies (holds up basket) by bus and by foot. Yesterday I almost got eaten!

Phil: (stares) You hate the bus too … Wait, did you say eaten?

Red: Yeah. A guy came out of the bushes and tried to bite my neck. He was wearing all this glittery stuff. Kept calling me Bell-something. I might not even be here if some crazy brunette hadn’t shown up and chased him away with a pointy stick.

Phil: That doesn’t sound very safe. What do you say to getting off the bus with me? I’m just going to get my car from the shop. I can drive you to your grandma’s house.

Red: (sighs in relief and grins widely) Oh, could you?

Phil: I’d drive you there every night …

Red takes his hand. They get off the bus together.

 

Next stop: Wednesday, May 9th, 5:00pm

Click here to learn all about this series, how it works, and where to find your favourite characters.


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249. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Monday, May 7th, 1:00pm
Red (and Justin)

 

Red sits at the window carrying a basket of food. Justin takes the seat beside her.

Justin: Don’t I know you from somewhere?

Red: I … don’t think so.

Justin: Yeah, aren’t you that chick who gets eaten by a wolf?

Red: (eyes widen) Ooh, I hope not!

Justin: You’re not going to your grandma’s house, are you?

Red: Yeah … I just left my mom’s place. I’m on my way to drop off some goodies.

Justin: It’s not safe out there alone you know. I can walk you there if you’d like.

Red: (smiles) I made it there without incident the last two days running.

Justin: Well you know what they say: three times lucky. Or unlucky. Or something.

Red: How do I know you’re not a wolf?

Justin: Pfft. Who, me? Nah. I’m just a bouncer in a dungeon.

Red: (eyes widen even more: slowly nods head) Now THAT sounds like a trustworthy profession. I think I’ll take my chances. Thanks anyway.

 

Next stop: Tuesday, May 8th, 6:00pm

Click here to learn all about this series, how it works, and where to find your favourite characters.


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248. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Sunday, May 6th, 1:00pm
Red (and Simon)

 

Red sits at the window. Simon takes the seat beside her.

Simon: Hi.

Red: Hi.

Simon: Nice basket. You look like Little Red Riding Hood.

Red: Who’s that?

Simon: Never mind. You going to your grandma’s house?

Red: How did you know?

Simon: Wild guess.

Red: I went yesterday, but I forgot the bread.

Simon: You really want to take the chance, going back twice in two days?

Red: What do I look like, a chicken?

Simon: I could go for some white meat.

Red shakes her head and turns to the window.

Simon: I’m not averse to a leg …

Red: (turns back) Anyone ever told you you’ve got a big mouth?

Simon: (smiles) All the better, my dear.

 

Next stop: Monday, May 7th, 1:00pm

Click here to learn all about this series, how it works, and where to find your favourite characters.


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247. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Saturday, May 5th, 8:00pm
Drommen (and Red)

 

Drommen sits at the window. Red takes the seat beside him.

Drommen: That’s a nice cape you have.

Red: Thank you. (holds up a basket of goodies) I’m going to visit my grandma.

Drommen smiles.

Red: But I might be lost.

Drommen: This bus doesn’t go to the woods.

Red: What makes you think I’m going to the woods?

Drommen: Isn’t that the way the tale goes?

Red: What tale? Anyway, I’m heading for Maple Street. Do you know where it is?

Drommen: (cocking his thumb over his shoulder) Back that way.

Red: Darn! I’ll have to get off the bus at the next stop.

Drommen: You know, there’s no way I’m going to beat you to your grandma’s house.

Red: (frowning) I don’t expect you to.

Drommen: (smiles) You never do.

 

Next stop: Sunday, May 6th, 1:00pm

Click here to learn all about this series, how it works, and where to find your favourite characters.


After Happily Ever After: Author Linda G. Hill in Wonderland

It’s my very first interview!
Note: The comments here are turned off. Please comment on the original post.

claudia quint

14680588_10100739534534109_945657069046256620_n After Happily Ever After Cover by Dean Samed, banner by Rohit Sawant

If you haven’t heard about the After Happily Ever After anthology, this interview series is a front row seat into the creative minds of the authors who have re-envisioned the fairy tale world beyond the final credits. Linda G. Hill has her own creative wonderland to share with us!

unnamed Author Linda G. Hill

How did you set upon the path of writing fiction?

When I was a child, I was very close to a certain aunt who always had a romance novel in her hand. She inspired me to want to read. I’m not sure how that translated into wanting to write, but it must have had some effect; I began writing my first “novel” when I was five years old. I drove my parents crazy, asking how to spell words. The only ones I knew were “and,”…

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Magic, Adventure, and Wonder: launching the After the Happily Ever After anthology by Anthony S. Buoni

The “After the Happily Ever After” anthology is finally out! My story, “Alice on the Analyst’s Couch” and many more wonderful tales can be found in this beautiful book. The Kindle version is on sale until January 1st. Please click on the original post and read all about it, and pick up your copy today. 😀

Transmundane Press

AFTER THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER: A COLLECTION OF FRACTURED FAIRY TALES is the third anthology that TRANSMUNDANE PRESS has produced.  What started as a nagging “what if…” question that we tossed out into the sea of creators quickly mushroom clouded into our most complicated and challenging project to date.

Based on our previous efforts—DISTORTED and UNDERWATER—we predicted somewhere between 30 and 50 submissions in our modest inbox, but were suddenly inundated with entries from dreamers located all over the world.  India, Canada, the UK, Australia, USA—they kept coming even after our posted deadline.

And they were wonderful tales.

Tales rich with adventure, unrequited love, treasure, sex, death, magic—these stories captured our imaginations the same way the storybooks of our youth tickled our fantasies.  Re-experiencing the same childlike excitement invoked memories of bedtime stories read by dim nightlights, of dragons swooping into our dreams and carrying us away to far off…

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After the Happily Ever After – Coming Soon!

As you may remember, some time ago I mentioned that one of my short stories (unpublished) was to be included in an anthology. Here it is!

Along with this cover reveal is a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, as well as a Kickstarter campaign where you can get all kinds of stuff, including coffee mugs, posters, short stories, hard cover editions of the anthology, and even a personal editing session with the Transmundane Press editors. Make sure you check out all the links.

And don’t forget to read the teasers: you’ll find mine under the “humor” section.

ever-after-amazon-kindle

SYNOPSIS:
The happily ever after is never the end. The curtain doesn’t fall once love is recognized or evil is vanquished. Credits don’t roll once the giant is slain or the big bad wolf is boiled alive. Wicked stepsisters, malevolent rulers, and hideous creatures still have lives after their sinister roles play out; heroes, lovers, and dreamers often find their victories lead to more troubles.
Within these pages are more than seventy continuations, retellings, and eldritch stories that explore the dark forests, magical castles, and hideous creatures After the Happily Ever After.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Website: http://www.transmundanepress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TransmundanePress/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TransmundnePres
Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/bYiL2r
Pre-order/Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/transmundanepress/1386536964?token=aede0285

EDITORS’ BIOS:
Alisha Costanzo is from a Syracuse suburb. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she currently teaches English. She’s the author of BLOOD PHOENIX: REBIRTH, BLOOD PHOENIX: CLAIMED, and LOVING RED, and is co-editor of DISTORTED and UNDERWATER. IMPRINTED, her new novel, is undergoing serious edits for its 2017 release. In the meantime, she will continue to corrupt young minds, rant about the government, and daydream about her all around nasty creatures.

Having relocated from Northwest Florida’s lonesome roads and haunted swamps, Anthony S. Buoni now prowls the gas lamp lit streets of New Orleans, playing moonlight hide and seek in the Crescent City’s above ground cemeteries. Anthony is the author of Conversation Party, Bad Apple Bolero, as well as the editor to the Between There anthologies. His stories and articles have been featured in North Florida Noir and Waterfront Living. When not prowling, Anthony keeps it scary, writing dark fiction, editing, and watching horror movies. In his spare time, he DJs, plays music, and conjures other worldly creatures with tarot cards and dreams.

PURCHASE LINKS:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Transmundane-Press/e/B00Q9R2F9W
KICKSTARTER Pre-Order: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/transmundanepress/1386536964?token=aede0285

GIVEAWAY

$10 Amazon Gift Card
https://gleam.io/bKc4r/after-the-happily-ever-after-cover-reveal-giveaway

TEASERS:

Horror

“The Spider’s Kiss” by David Turnball:
Her complexion had assumed the tainted gray of the corpse, the white of her eyes inebriated red with the wine of ruptured veins, the flesh on her fingers as black as spider legs.
“How perfectly contrary I’ve become.”
For entertainment, she plucked wings from flies and hung their panicking bodies from the gossamer mesh of a spider web draping the dusty corner of her mother’s garret, watching lustfully as the long-legged spider came slowly dancing around his prey. When the mood took, she’d pop the panicky little insect torsos into her mouth. Their sour juices oozing down her throat afforded her an invigorating but fleeting sensation.

“Jack and Jill” by Tom Williams:
Mrs Dob. He tapped an inch of ash off the joint. That ridiculous paper turban the child had worn. Evan remembered Jack’s pinched little face looking up at him, so serious, so sombre it made him smile. Dear Jack, have you lost your Jill, too, you poor thing. He took a deep, lungful of smoke.
Imagine, Jack and I both losing our Jills.
There was a difference though, an important one. Evan knew where his Jill was. Oh, yes, he knew exactly where she was. Hadn’t he carried her corpse, twice as heavy in death, across a ploughed field, staggering under her weight as he tottered over the furrows.

Fantasy

“Trader” by Robert Dawson
The ocean holds many kinds of islands. There are the ordinary sort of islands that stay in the same place all the time, solid reliable islands where men and women raise their children and cabbages. Beyond them lie the barren rocks, swallowed and released as the moon draws the tides, where only the selchie folk live, and the shifting sandbars where the cold mermaidens wait to marry drowned sailors.
Then there are hidden islands that appear on no charts. The boats of Land’s Men cannot find them except now and again by mischance, and to land there is perilous. The largest islands have been sighted often enough by Land’s Men that they have names: Thule, Hy Brasil, and golden Atlantis. But most are nameless to the people of the Land, and on these, the Sea Folk dwell.

“The Dragon” by R. Judas Brown
Lavender knew no one would come for her. Bad things happened to the daughters of poor, dairy farmers every day. The best she hoped for in life was a good marriage arrangement to a solid provider. Her dad only just found that arrangement with the town miller, a man her dad’s age. His apprentice looked like more fun, but the miller was well off.
Then she had been taken.
Fire from the sky.
A slam from behind, knocking her flat before the ground fell away impossibly fast.
Trees and rivers rushed by as she hung from yellow, bony talons until the darkness crept mercifully into her vision to steal her terror away.
She awoke on a bed of sharp sticks in a cave reeking of sulfur. Confused, she stood slowly, trying to find some semblance of sanity in the dark. A glowing sliver of daylight burned around the covered mouth of the cave.
Her feet froze before she had taken a full step as what she thought was a boulder in the dark shifted.
A long tail whipped as a pointed snout swung to regard her. It filled the cave entrance, a giant, scaly mass—a creature renowned for merciless violence and calculated malevolence. Lavender jerked back, tripping on the hem of her skirt in panic. Hands and arms scraped along jagged edges as she fell into the pile of sticks. When she came face to face with a skull, the truth shuddered through her.

Humor

“Alice on the Analyst’s Couch” by Linda G. Hill
Alice’s psychiatrist, the esteemed Dr. Dinah Fell, promised her the nightmares would stop. And to the doctor’s credit, she seemed to know what she was talking about; six months after the incident when seven-year-old Alice fell asleep under the tree, they had. That was, however, fourteen years ago.
Fresh out of college, Alice found a job quickly—to the dismay of many of her peers who had exceeded her in marks, but not in popularity —in the accounting industry for which she had studied. She hadn’t wanted to admit, even to her sister with whom she shared an apartment, that the leering man in human resources hired her based on the length of her legs and the cut of her blouse rather than her qualifications. He reminded her of someone with far too many teeth for the size of his mouth.
But regardless, she left her car at home and took the bus to work, knowing that parking spaces downtown were prime real estate. She walked the two blocks from the bus stop—about all she could stand in stilettos—and approached the receptionist at the paneled desk that fronted the office of Queen and Jack Inc . The middle-aged woman with a red bouffant hairstyle studied Alice from top to bottom. Her tight-lipped moue indicated her disapproval of the young woman’s tight sweater and short skirt, but she conceded that there was, indeed, a Mr. Topper waiting to see her in his office. The secretary stood and told Alice to follow.
“I’m Rose . You’ll come to see me only when you leave for the day, so I’ll know to take messages. You will not come to me for copies, faxes, telephone books, coffee, or favors of any sort.” She stopped at a door at the end of the long hall and placed her hand on the knob.
“Good luck.” She opened the door, and walked back in the direction from whence they had come.

“The Secret Life of Blanca Snowe” by Saryn Chorney:
The tragic events of Blanca’s childhood were at least partially to blame for her present condition. Blanca’s mother died in childbirth, and her wealthy father, the lord of Fairest Landing, raised his beloved only-daughter by himself. Although he lavished Blanca with love and affection, he missed having a wife. When Blanca turned thirteen, he remarried. Unfortunately, his new wife, Hilde, was a manipulative and vain woman with a suspicious agenda. Mostly, she busied herself spending her new husband’s fortune on beauty products. Hilde ignored Blanca; she passed the majority of her time in the toilette, mixing ointments and talking to herself in the mirror. Perhaps that wasn’t so odd, though, as Blanca spent the majority of her day talking to the birds, bunnies, squirrels, and stray cats in the courtyard of their estate.
Although the Fairest Landing police officially declared it an accident, Lord Snowe died suddenly from an allergic reaction to one of his wife’s homemade tonics, which he mistook for mouthwash. Hilde made a big show of appearing devastated, but after a month of official mourning, she debuted a new youthful look and entertained suitors. To her disdain, most of them took a shine to Blanca, who was sixteen by then. In juxtaposition to her innocent beauty, the girl also had an alluring countenance that intrigued men. This infuriated Hilde, who gave a handsome sum to a handsome hitman named Hunter to make Blanca disappear. Mid-kidnap-and-chop-up plan, Hunter found himself pitying his pretty prey. Instead of offing her, he dropped her off at a so-called safe house where seven merry men lived.

Romance

“Beauty and the Beast: The Beast Within” by Lorraine Nelson:
“And that’s what you miss?” he snapped. “That childish, immature, ranting, raving, beast-like creature?”
Belle bit back a smile. “You need to let me finish. All will be explained.” She hoped. Adam grunted, the sound so much like what her beloved Beast made whenever he was displeased that her heart twisted. For one brief second, he was back with her. Then he glanced at her, questions evident in his beautiful, human eyes. And the moment was gone.

“Need to be Apart” by Jody Sollazzo
“Once upon a time in a land far, far away, Westchester, New York…” Cam pauses.
He kisses her all over. His lips are moist, biting, and wanting. He gets to her stomach and kisses a line across it. He rolls her to her side and bites her ample hip, and she squeals.
“…there was a beautiful princess. Everyone saw how beautiful she was except for the bloody beast.”
His voice is as thick as the Dublin heat outside of this crisp air-conditioned Hilton. Em almost forgets about the all the hidden trafficking below. How all these people look the same to her. Em almost forgets who she is.
“That’s not how it was at all,” she says with giggles.

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